Leonardo


Martin Kemp - 2004
    Now, in this new biography, Martin Kemp explores the essential nature of this forever fascinating artist-engineer, both as an individual and as a historical phenomenon. How can we best understand Leonardo? How did his mind work--was he prolific but scattered in his thinking, or is there a method in what often seems to be his madness? Was he basically an artist who also pursued science and technology, or was "science"--his understanding of the physical world--central to his artistic vision? In Leonardo, Martin Kemp offers a vivid portrait of the Renaissance giant that answers these questions and more. The book takes us on an absorbing journey through the life and work of Leonardo, looking first at the historical man, portraying an impressive and cultivated figure, an artist who in truth completed few paintings, rarely satisfied a commission, and yet lived in style and ended his career with a massive salary. More important, the author examines the ideas underlying Leonardo's investigations of nature, illuminating his vision of the artist-engineer as matching nature itself in his creativity. Kemp argues that Leonardo's apparent diversities reveal a desire to find an inner unity in the functioning of everything in the observable world. For Leonardo, writes Kemp, every act of looking and drawing was an act of analysis, and he used these analyses to re-make and re-interpret his surroundings. In a final chapter, Kemp also comments on the Da Vinci Code and "the continuing public appetite for Leonardo and his doings." Beautifully illustrated with a unique "thumbnail museum" that offers a tour of all Leonardo's paintings, plus 30 additional illustrations and life-size reproductions of pages from his famous notebooks, Leonardo is a powerful portrait of one of the towering geniuses of world history.

The Uffizi: The Official Guide - All of the Works


Gloria Fossi - 1998
    This lavishly illustrated series provides readers with the official guides to some of the world's finest galleries and art collections. Packed with fascinating detail, historical insight, and fully up-to-date information, these guides are a must-have for planning their visit to Florence.

Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and His Times


William E. Wallace - 1998
    In this vividly written biography, William E. Wallace offers a substantially new view of the artist. Not only a supremely gifted sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, Michelangelo was also an aristocrat who firmly believed in the ancient and noble origins of his family. The belief in his patrician status fueled his lifelong ambition to improve his family's financial situation and to raise the social standing of artists. Michelangelo's ambitions are evident in his writing, dress, and comportment, as well as in his ability to befriend, influence, and occasionally say "no" to popes, kings, and princes. Written from the words of Michelangelo and his contemporaries, this biography not only tells his own stories but also brings to life the culture and society of Renaissance Florence and Rome. Not since Irving Stone's novel The Agony and the Ecstasy has there been such a compelling and human portrayal of this remarkable yet credible human individual.Subscribe to William Wallace's podcast on individual works of the master! Click here!Episodes every week, right from this bookmark or your feed reader.

Michelangelo: Biography Of A Genius


Bruno Nardini - 1999
    From the Florence of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Savonarola to the splendour of the papal Rome; the tormented life of a Renaissance genius.

Bernini: His Life and His Rome


Franco Mormando - 2011
    And his artistic vision remains palpably present today, through the countless statues, fountains, and buildings that transformed Rome into the Baroque theater that continues to enthrall tourists.            It is perhaps not surprising that this artist who defined the Baroque should have a personal life that itself was, well, baroque. As Franco Mormando’s dazzling biography reveals, Bernini was a man driven by many passions, possessed of an explosive temper and a hearty sex drive, and he lived a life as dramatic as any of his creations. Drawing on archival sources, letters, diaries, and—with a suitable skepticism—a hagiographic account written by Bernini’s son (who portrays his father as a paragon of virtue and piety), Mormando leads us through Bernini’s many feuds and love affairs, scandals and sins. He sets Bernini’s raucous life against a vivid backdrop of Baroque Rome, bustling and wealthy, and peopled by churchmen and bureaucrats, popes and politicians, schemes and secrets.The result is a seductively readable biography, stuffed with stories and teeming with life—as wild and unforgettable as Bernini’s art. No one who has been bewitched by the Baroque should miss it.

The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World


Paul Robert Walker - 2002
    Its designer was Filippo Brunelleschi, a temperamental architect and inventor who rediscovered the techniques of mathematical perspective. Yet the completion of the dome was not Brunelleschi’s glory alone. He was forced to share the commission with his archrival, the canny and gifted sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti.In this lush, imaginative history—a fascinating true story of artistic genius and personal triumph—Paul Robert Walker breathes life into these two talented, passionate artists and the competitive drive that united and dived them. As it illuminates fascinating individuals from Donatello and Masaccio to Cosimo de’Medici and Leon Battista Alberti, The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance offers a glorious tour of 15th-century Florence, a bustling city on the verge of greatness in a time of flourishing creativity, rivalry, and genius.

Leonardo: The Artist and the Man


Serge Bramly - 1988
    "A considerable work of assimilative scholarship and common sense...races along merrily."—The Boston Globe.

An Art Lover's Guide to Florence


Judith Testa - 2012
    The sheer number and proximity of works of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Florence can be so overwhelming that Florentine hospitals treat hundreds of visitors each year for symptoms brought on by trying to see them all, an illness famously identified with the French author Stendhal.While most guidebooks offer only brief descriptions of a large number of works, with little discussion of the historical background, Judith Testa gives a fresh perspective on the rich and brilliant art of the Florentine Renaissance in An Art Lover’s Guide to Florence. Concentrating on a number of the greatest works, by such masters as Botticelli and Michelangelo, Testa explains each piece in terms of what it meant to the people who produced it and for whom they made it, deftly treating the complex interplay of politics, sex, and religion that were involved in the creation of those works. With Testa as a guide, armchair travelers and tourists alike will delight in the fascinating world of Florentine art and history.

Leonardo's Legacy: How da Vinci Reimagined the World


Stefan Klein - 2008
    The artist who created the Mona Lisa also designed functioning robots and digital computers, constructed flying machines and built the first heart valve. His intuitive and ingenious approach—a new mode of thinking—linked highly diverse areas of inquiry in startling new ways and ushered in a new era.In Leonardo’s Legacy, award-winning science journalist Stefan Klein deciphers the forgotten legacy of this universal genius and persuasively demonstrates that today we have much to learn from Leonardo’s way of thinking. Klein sheds light on the mystery behind Leonardo’s paintings, takes us through the many facets of his fascination with water, and explains the true significance of his dream of flying. It is a unique glimpse into the complex and brilliant mind of this inventor, scientist, and pioneer of a new world view, with profound consequences for our times.

Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces


Robert Clark - 2008
    A low-pressure system had been stalled over Italy for six weeks and on the previous day it had begun to rain again. Nineteen inches fell in twenty-four hours, more than half of the annual total. By two o’clock in the morning twenty-thousand cubic feet of water per second was moving towards Florence. Soon manhole covers in Santa Croce were exploding into the air as jets of water began shooting out of the now overwhelmed sewer system. Cellars, vaults, and strong-rooms were filling with water. Night watchmen on the Ponte Vecchio alerted the bridge’s jewelers and goldsmiths to come quickly to rescue their wares. By then the water was moving at forty miles per hour at a height of twenty-four feet. At 7:26 a.m. all of Florence’s electric civic clocks came to a stop. The Piazza Santa Croce was under twenty-two feet of water. Beneath the surface, twelve feet of mud, sewage, debris, and oil sludge were starting to ooze and settle into the cellars and crypts and room after room above them. Six-hundred-thousand tons of it would smother, clot, and encrust the city. Dark Water brings the flood and its aftermath to life through the voices of witnesses past and present. Two young American artists wade heedlessly through the inundated city carrying their baby in order to witness its devastated beauty: the Ponte Vecchio buried in debris and Ghiberti’s panels from the doors of the Florence Baptistery, lying heaped in yard-deep mud; the swamped Uffizi Gallery; and, in the city libraries, one billion pages of Renaissance and antique books, soaked in mire. A Life magazine photographer, stowing away on an army helicopter, arrives to capture a drama that, he felt, “could only be told by Dante” amid the flooded tombs of Machiavelli and Michelangelo in Giotto and Vasari’s Santa Croce. A British student, one of thousands of “mud angels” who rushed to Florence to save its art, spends a month scraping mud and mold from Cimabue’s magnificent and neglected Crocifisso as intrigues and infighting among international art experts and connoisseurs swirl around him. And during the fortieth anniversary commemorations of 2006 the author asks himself why art matters so very much to us, and how beauty seems to somehow save the world even in the face of overwhelming disaster.

The Secrets of Rome: Love and Death in the Eternal City


Corrado Augias - 2005
    In the mold of his earlier histories of Paris, New York, and London, Augias moves perceptively through twenty-seven centuries of Roman life, shedding new light on a cast of famous, and infamous, historical figures and uncovering secrets and conspiracies that have shaped the city without our ever knowing it. From Rome's origins as Romulus's stomping ground to the dark atmosphere of the Middle Ages; from Caesar's unscrupulousness to Caravaggio's lurid genius; from the notorious Lucrezia Borgia to the seductive Anna Fallarino, the marchioness at the center of one of Rome's most heinous crimes of the post-war period, Augias creates a sweeping account of the passions that have shaped this complex city: at once both a metropolis and a village, where all human sentiment-bravery and cowardice, industriousness and sloth, enterprise and laxity-find their interpreters and stage. If the history of humankind is all passion and uproar, then, as the author notes, "for centuries Rome has been the mirror of this history, reflecting with excruciating accuracy every detail, even those that might cause you to avert your gaze."

Caravaggio


Catherine Puglisi - 1998
    Rescued from neglect, he has become a cultural icon in the late twentieth century, not only for his art but also because of his violent and tragic life. Catherine Puglisi's highly praised monograph, now available for the first time in paperback, supersedes all previous studies of the artist. Making full use of new research and dramatic recent discoveries, she has produced a precise, clear-headed and comprehensive work of scholarship that also provides a moving biography of the artist and a penetrating analysis of the genius with which he absorbed and transformed the artistic tradition of his time. All Caravaggio's works are discussed and illustrated in colour, and the book has an appendix of documents, full notes and bibliography, checklist of works and full indexes. This authoritative and beautifully produced monograph is the standard work on Caravaggio.

Art of the Renaissance


Peter Murray - 1963
    The artistic ferment which had taken hold of Florence by 1420 was also reflected in the regional schools of Siena, Umbria, Mantua and Rome; and the new ideas spread from Italy through France, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Portugal. The book includes artists as diverse as Piero della Francesca, Van Eyck, Durer, Mantegna and Bellini, as well as the High Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. With superb illustrations of the artists' work and crucial historical information about the "rebirth" of arts and letters, the authors illuminate one of the most important periods of art history. 251 illus., 51 in color.

Art 101: From Vincent van Gogh to Andy Warhol, Key People, Ideas, and Moments in the History of Art


Eric Grzymkowski - 2013
    Art 101 cuts out the boring details and lengthy explanations, and instead, gives you a lesson in artistic expression that keeps you engaged as you discover the world's greatest artists and their masterpieces.From color theory and Claude Monet to Jackson Pollock and Cubism, this primer is packed with hundreds of entertaining tidbits and works of art that you won't be able to get anywhere else.So whether you're looking to master classic painting techniques, or just want to learn more about popular styles of art, Art 101 has all the answers--even the ones you didn't know you were looking for.

Michelangelo: His Epic Life


Martin Gayford - 2013
    Few of his works - including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David and the Last Judgment - were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology - such as Hercules, whose statue he carved in his youth - he was subject to constant trials and labours.In Michelangelo Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be.